– Can the present dialogue between the Catholic Church in Poland and the Moscow patriarch be inscribed in a well-known trend of a dialogue from the 60th of the last century between the Churches in Poland and Germany, leading to the mutual forgiveness and reconciliation?

ARCHBISHOP HENRYK MUSZYŃSKI: – The purpose of the dialogue is comparable but it is done in a different reality than the beginnings of the Polish-German dialogue after the second world war. The letter of Polish bishops to the German ones from the year 1965 was a unilateral declaration of the Polish Episcopate, to which German bishops reacted later. While, as far as the present Common Message to the Nations of Russia and Poland is concerned , at once we deal with a document of the both Episcopates (…). That dialogue was an attempt to create a bridge between nations hostile to each other at the moment when war wounds had not got healed yet. This one happens in a completely different place of history. It is here about a look at the multi-centuries common but not easy history of the both nations in the light of Christian faith and a look towards the future which we have ahead.

– Are there words in the message of the both Churches which are analogical to those ones from the letters of Polish bishops to the German ones ‘We forgive and ask for forgiveness’?

– No, it is impossible to transfer these words directly from that document because the situation on the Polish-Russian segment has not got mature yet. In the present phase it is mainly about rebuilding the mutual trustfulness. We have some common experiences, for example, if it if about totalitarisms which brought us closer to each other from some point of view, and divided at the same time. As Poles we say clearly about suffering from the two totalitarisms: the German – Nazis and the soviet – communistic (…). Our Russian partners did not use to put German totalitarism and the totalitarism of atheistic communism on one field.

A fragment of an interview of Marcin Przeciszewski with Archbishop Henryk Muszyński


"Niedziela" 31/2012

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